Makon­des walk from Kwale to State House

Law says they should’ve been reg­is­tered by Au­gust. They’re yet to re­ceive ID cards

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties - ALLOYS MUSYOKA @k2­musyoka

The Makonde com­mu­nity, a state­less peo­ple who have been seek­ing le­gal cit­i­zen­ship for decades, to­day will walk from Kwale to State House, Nairobi.

The walk will be flagged off by Gov­er­nor Salim Mvurya, Kenya Hu­man Right Com­mis­sion CEO Ge­orge Ke­goro and Makonde chair­man Thomas Nguli. The com­mu­nity will be ac­com­pa­nied by of­fi­cials from KHCR and other hu­man rights or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to The Kenya Cit­i­zen­ship and Im­mi­gra­tion Act, 2011, the state­less peo­ple should have been reg­is­tered within five years of the law’s com­mence­ment. The dead­line lapsed in Au­gust.

Nguli said they ex­pected to be is­sued with ID cards af­ter the gov­ern­ment last year took down their de­tails. “We need to be reg­is­tered and be cit­i­zens like other peo­ple. Our fore­fa­thers came here be­fore In­de­pen­dence and worked on sisal and sugar plan­ta­tions. We have nowhere to call home apart from Kenya,” he said.

Last month KHRC man­ager Diana Gichengo asked Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta to ex­plain the de­lay in reg­is­ter­ing the state­less peo­ple. She said a task­force formed to ad­dress the is­sue did not do any­thing de­spite us­ing tax­payer money.

“In two years, the task force has yet to sub­mit any re­port and rec­om­men­da­tions. It is wrong,” Gichengo said. She said it is wrong for the gov­ern­ment to con­tinue giv­ing state­less peo­ple empty prom­ises ev­ery year.

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